Crown Of Thorns - Knowledgebase Question

Hurst, TX
Question by mdd3843
December 28, 1999
I received the largest plant I have seen of this variety. It is more than 2 feet tall with beautiful draping blossoms which start out greenish yellow, turning coral. How to care for this wonderful gift?


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Answer from NGA
December 28, 1999

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Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) appreciates average warmth, minimum of 55F in the winter. Provide as much light as possible but shade from the hottests summer sun. Water moderately spring through autumn, water sparingly in winter. Let the surface of the soil dry in between waterings. Feed only during the months of March through September. Expect some leaf drop during the winter months.

Euphorbia are desert plants, so they like a porous soil. They rot if there's too much moisture and they must have excellent drainage. Try to find a potting mix made especially for cactus, or make your own with 1 part potting soil to 2 parts sharp sand, and 2 parts perlite or pumice.

Many indoor container cactus/euphorbia die from overwatering. Water slowly and deeply, letting the water drain out the bottom. As a guideline only, in summer, water 2 times per month; in winter, maybe just 1 time per month. Adjust for your plant as needed. Crown of thorns likes full sun, but appreciates some shade from the hottest summer sun. It can also be trained on a small frame or trellis. Stems can reach 3-4 feet. I hope this info helps!


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